The Indian conglomerate is open to selling up to 40 per cent of its subsidiary to the e-commerce giant, sources told Bloomberg. Reliance is also soliciting investment from firms that have backed its Jio Platforms telecommunications and digital division, according to Reuters. (BloombergQuint, Reuters)
Talking point: JioMart, Reliance’s major e-commerce foray, launched in May, is trying to put small merchants online. Two years ago, those same kirana stores formed an effective political lobby driving New Delhi to make rules in ways that targeted Amazon, as well as Walmart-owned Flipkart’s practice of selling products from their own subsidiaries via their marketplaces; CEO Jeff Bezos promised US$1 billion to add small merchants to the platform to mollify them. Reliance’s domestic clout, the audience provided by its market-leading wireless carrier, and its recent US$3.4-billion deal for brick-and-mortar giant Future Group—which brings in stores, wholesale and logistics assets, and removes a potential grocery competitor—all make it an attractive partner.